Top mine rescue teams to compete in Matachewan

Seven mine rescue teams from across Ontario will test their emergency response knowledge and skills underground at Alamos Gold’s Young-Davidson Mine during the 69th annual Ontario Mine Rescue Provincial Competition in Matachewan, near Kirkland Lake, Wednesday and Thursday, June 6 and 7.

Last year’s winner, Goldcorp Canada, Musselwhite Mine Team Horde, will return to defend its title, and a previous guest team, Boliden Tara Mine from Ireland, also returns to the competition. Tara, which originally based its emergency response program on Ontario Mine Rescue, has visited Ontario and the Provincial Competition several times in the past 20 years, most recently at the 2016 International Mines Rescue Competition in Sudbury.

Alamos Gold will host the underground emergency simulation portion of the competition organized by Ontario Mine Rescue, a part of Workplace Safety North. The competition will test the teams’ mining emergency response knowledge, firefighting skills, first aid response, use of emergency equipment and decision-making ability under stress during a simulated emergency.

A designated viewing area at the Young-Davidson site will permit family, friends and the media to watch the competition via livestreaming video. Admission is free. The competition will start at 7 a.m. each day. Media and spectators are not permitted to share competition details, photos or videos with other teams or on social media until the competition ends Friday, June 8 at noon.

Competing mine rescue teams, each a winner of their respective qualifying district competition in early May, are:

Wednesday June 6:
o Goldcorp Canada, Musselwhite Mine Team Horde (Red Lake District)
o Kirkland Lake Gold, Holt & Taylor Mines (Kirkland Lake District)
o Vale Canada Ltd., East Mines (Sudbury District).
o KGHM, Morrison & McCreedy West Mines (Onaping District)

Thursday June 7:
o North American Palladium, Lac des Iles Mine (Thunder Bay & Algoma District)
o Tahoe Canada – Timmins West & Bell Creek mines (Timmins District)
o K+S Windsor Salt Ojibway Mine (Southern District)
o Boliden Tara Mine (Ireland)

Mine Rescue competitions, which started in 1950, are as much intensive learning opportunities as a chance to test emergency response capabilities. The competitions ensure that mine rescue volunteers across the province are trained to the same high standards.

Mine rescue team members, the backbone of Ontario Mine Rescue, are volunteer mine workers trained by Mine Rescue Officers to respond to all types of mine emergencies including fires, explosions and the entrapment of miners.

Under the authority of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and headquartered in Sudbury, Ontario Mine Rescue staffs, equips and maintains a network of mine rescue stations across the province that ensure mines within a specified geographic area have adequate emergency response capability.

The 2018 Ontario Mine Rescue Provincial Competition is hosted by Alamos Gold, YoungDavidson Mine. Major sponsors are Drager Safety; Technica Mining; Hard-Line Solutions; T’NT Work and Rescue; and North American Palladium.

Workplace Safety North provides products and services to promote workplace health and safety in the mining, forestry, and paper, printing and converting industries, as well as workplaces across Ontario.